Covid-19 Phased Reopening & Childcare Provision

Childcare Provision Form

Phased Reopening
As you will be aware, the government has announced that so long as they are satisfied that it will be safe enough to do so schools will reopen from 1st June 2020 for certain year groups. Following an extensive risk assessment, feasibility and capacity analysis process, the Trustees of REAch2 Multi Academy Trust have authorised us to offer provision for children in Years 1 and 6.

We will also continue to operate a childcare facility for:

  • Children of critical workers
  • Vulnerable pupils: those with a EHCP, with a Social Worker, or those with vulnerability to whom the school have decided to offer a childcare place.
  • We are very much looking forward to seeing our children once again, but I would like to reassure you that the safety of our school community is our priority. These arrangements for reopening have been put into place following a full risk assessment process and are in line with guidance from the Department for Education.

We will continue to review the arrangements we have implemented and update you with any changes as and when we make them. The arrangements and start date may change depending on government announcements and changes in the national situation.

We recognise that some of you may have some concerns about your child returning to school and that for some children another change will be unsettling for them. We also understand that the past weeks will have been challenging for many families. If you would like to talk to us about your child and any concerns you have about their return to school, please contact the school office and speak to Mrs Binks or leave a message in the first instance.

If your child has an EHC plan please contact the school Inclusion Manager, Miss Chick, who will support you and your child with their return to school.

Staggered Start: opening dates for different year groups

In order to ensure arrangements are as safe and secure as possible we will be operating a staggered start for different year groups.

We will then review arrangements each week to confirm whether it is safe to open the school to additional year groups in the following weeks.  This decision will be based on risk assessment, taking into account pupil numbers and available staff, so that we are sure we can operate as safely as possible.  Re-opening to additional year groups will need to be approved at Trust Level.

The school will be open to the different year groups on the following dates but only the pupils who have confirmed YES on our questionnaire before half-term:

  • Year 6 – 8th June 2020
  • Year 1 – 15th June 2020
  • Key Worker & Vulnerable Children – 2nd June 2020

However, we can only confirm this following a review of each week’s arrangements.  We will be sure to contact you each week at the earliest possible opportunity to keep you informed. 

IMPORTANT:

  • The school is opening to pupils in Years 1 and 6 who have confirmed YES on the questionnaire before half term.
  • If you said NO, the earliest you can book in is the 24th June as we have a limited capacity for the time being.
  • Key Worker and Vulnerable must be booked in (see form above) by 12pm/midday on Wednesday for the following week.
  • The school will NOT ACCEPT ON THE DAY any pupils who are not booked in and who haven’t received confirmation of their place.

School staff

All people have different circumstances and challenges. This is no different for our staff. Unfortunately, we have some staff who will be unavailable for the time being or only for some days and times. Included in this list is Mr Prendergast. However, throughout this, the leadership team have worked together to support the school, staff, families and community.

The Team Are

  • Mr Prendergast will maintain whole school overview & Designated Safeguarding Lead
  • Miss Harriss is responsible for overseeing our Childcare Hub & Home Learning, including ongoing support for our Early Years children. She will be supporting our children and families transitioning into school. She also sits on the safeguarding team.
  • Miss Druce & Miss Thomassen are overseeing the on-site implementation of our partial reopening. This includes the implementation of our risk assessment, timetabling of children and staff and responding to issues which arise. They also sit on the safeguarding team. They are the delegated out of class leadership.  
  • Note: Mr Prendergast will remain in constant communication with them and the whole team and authorise any significant changes to plans or responses to issues which arise.  
  • Miss Chick is leading on our specific provision for our EHCP children & coordinating our pastoral and mental health support plan. She also maintains safeguarding responsibilities as one of the Designated Safeguarding Leads on site and will support Miss Harriss with childcare hub preparation.
  • Mrs Knight is the magician behind everything: HR, finance, health & safety, school operations. She is really our best kept secret to the continued improvement and success!

Maintaining a safe school environment

We have put in place preventative measures  in order to minimise the spread of infection. These have been presented for you and your children and can be watched here:

 

 


As per the advice from the government, the following actions for infection control remain in place:

  • Displaying coronavirus infection control measures information posters around the school
  • Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of hand washing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap in the following circumstances:
  • Before leaving home
  • On arrival at school
  • After using the toilet
  • After breaks and sporting activities
  • Before food preparation
  • Before eating any food, including snacks
  • Before leaving school
  • At regular intervals throughout the day
  • Installing alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol throughout the school, including on entry to the school.
  • Ensuring pupils and staff understand that they must cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue away
  • Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual
  • Calling NHS 111 if someone becomes unwell, isolating any unwell people in a separate room, and providing a separate bathroom, where possible
  • Telling staff to stay at home for seven days if they develop symptoms of coronavirus
  • Providing staff training on PPE, rubbish disposal, mental health and well-being

As an important part of our school community, we would ask that you continue to encourage good infection control practices, such as thorough hand washing, at home and keep your child informed about the things they can do to discourage the spread of infection.

In line with the current NHS and government advice, you should keep your child at home if they develop coronavirus symptoms for a period of seven days.  Symptoms include a high temperature or a new, continuous cough. Where symptoms continue after seven days, or begin to worsen, you should call 111. If someone in your child’s household has symptoms, your child must self-isolate for 14 days from the day the other person’s symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear. More information regarding symptoms and actions can be found on the NHS website (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/).

If you think your child may have been exposed to or has coronavirus, or if your child receives a positive test result for coronavirus, please contact the school at the earliest opportunity.

Arrangements for the start and end of the school day

The beginning and end of the school day are the busiest times for children and adults congregating together in one place and maintaining safe distances within normal arrangements can be a challenge. We have implemented a range of measures to mitigate the risk at these times, including:

  • Staggered drop off and pick up
  • Social distance signage, paths and markers
  • One-way systems
  • Entry and exit time slots
  • Only one parent/carer should drop off or collect and parents/carers should not congregate on or off site.
  • Your child will have personalised details for entry and exit. 

Arrangements for break times and lunchtimes

We recognise the importance for all pupils to have a break from learning and to enjoy time outside during the school day. Reconnecting with friends will be an important aspect of pupils settling back into school life, but we have made some adjustments to break and lunch times.

  • Each group will play in their own outdoor zone with their own equipment.
  • Children will play in smaller groups within their group and zone.
  • Breaks and lunches will be staggered.
  • Lunches will be taken in the group room.
  • Children should not bring in their own toys or balls.

Packed Lunch. Please provide your child with a healthy and balanced packed lunch which will be consumed in their group room or group outdoor zone. Children eligible for Free School Meals or Universal Free School Meals (Years R – 2) will receive a lunch.

You may also book lunch on Parent Pay.

The school day

To minimise the number of pupils and staff assembling for periods of time, we have made the following changes to the school day:

  • Significantly changed the classroom layout, reducing numbers in each room so that pupils can safely socially distance.
  • There will be no formal P.E. but children will play within their outdoor zone with their own allocated equipment.
  • Assemblies will be conducted remotely.
  • Where possible, children will learn outside.
  • Staff have access to and will use PPE for intimate care and if there is a suspected case of coronavirus.
     

School Trips

There will be no school trips taking place in the foreseeable future.  This will be reviewed as the situation changes.

Transition from Year 6 to Year 7

We recognise that this is a really important time for our Year 6 pupils as they are preparing for secondary school in September.  Whilst we will not be conducting any on-site visits to secondary schools we will still be doing everything that we can to support these pupils to be ready.  This includes:

  • Liaising closely with our secondary schools to make sure they know all of the important information about your child.
  • Providing bespoke lessons and guidance for year 6 pupils about transferring to secondary school.
  • Grouping children within children going to the same secondary school.
  • We will answer any questions that they have and support them with any anxieties so that they can make the best possible start.

Support for pupils and families

We do not underestimate how difficult the recent weeks have been for us all and we all will have been touched in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise the need to focus on pupils’ emotional wellbeing as well as their return to learning. The following support is in place for pupils once they return to school.

  • Daily emotional check ins, this includes pictures without words, weather cards or emojis but not labelled – children will have the opportunity to just identify which they are and there will be space to talk.
  • Daily ‘time to talk’
  • Planned activities to rebuild relationships within the groups and to reach out to other groups
  • Daily mindfulness/ relaxation activities
  • Time in the day to do each of the 5 steps to wellbeing recommended by Mind & NHS
  • More specialised support, resources and signposting where required

Parents may wish to seek support for themselves from the following support agencies:

  • Daisy’s Dream: www.daisysdream.org.uk
  • Samaritans – call free 24 hours a day on 116 123
  • National Domestic Abuse Helpline – call for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247
  • Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues if you call 0330 0536 083 (please note, this is not a free phone number and your call will be charged). A free webchat is available at https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help/webchat

Risk

The school has completed a risk assessment and has mitigated potential risks as much as reasonably possible. These have been implemented through clear communication and training of staff, pupils and families. If issues arise or the situation changes, leaders may adapt protocols and control measures following a dynamic risk assessment.

Childcare Arrangements 
From Tuesday 2nd June the emergency childcare provision provided will be provided at The Palmer Academy.
The provision will be staffed by leadership and staff from the school.
The school is closed on Monday 1st June to ALL PUPILS.
 

Who is the childcare for?

  • Children of critical workers or vulnerable families who have NO OTHER OPTION for childcare. If your child(ren) can be cared for by a parent or carer within the home, then they MUST BE.
  • We are working to keep the school open for critical workers but would ask that you only send your child in when you have no alternative childcare. This will allow us to keep everyone safe.
  • If you wish your child to attend, then please indicate on the form below by WEDNESDAY of the week before.
  • Once booked, your child should attend all week. 

Booking

  • All children MUST be booked in advance. There are paper booking forms at each school. The quickest and easiest way to book is via the form below and book children in.
  • If you wish your child to attend, then please indicate on the form below by WEDNESDAY of the week before.
  • Once booked, your child should attend all week. 


Free School Meals/Lunches

If your child(ren) is eligible for Free School Meals they will receive one onsite. 

Other children must bring packed lunches or book a lunch.

Communication

  • Call 01189375481 and speak to Mrs Binks or leave a message.
  • Email admin@thepalmeracademy.com
  • Onsite emergency mobile contact: 07398 128635
  • Palmer safeguarding and emergency number: 07398 128636

Arrangements

  • Children wear school uniform and PE kit ona rotation (washing each evening)
  • Children should enter and exit via the main reception door.
  • The playground gated WILL NOT be open during the first week (week commencing 1st June).
  • On entry, all children will sanitise and wash their hands thoroughly in the visitor’s toilet and then periodically throughout the day.
  • Childcare will involve some completion of ‘home learning’ activities and other planned tasks and activities.
  • Children should bring their own water bottle and this should be named.
  • Children should bring a morning snack.
  • Children should either bring a packed lunch.

Collection

  • Only parents/carers who are registered to collect at each school may collect.
  • All parents/carers must maintain social distancing of 2m.
  • Children will be brought to the front door so please wait 2 metres apart at 3:15pm.
  • Please wash your hands and clothes thoroughly upon returning home

Policies

We have temporarily introduced two new policies and agreements for school, children and parents/carers. Please make sure you and your child have read and understood these if your child is attending school over the coming weeks. Thank you for your support.
 
1.    COVID-19 Behaviour Policy
2.    COVID-19  Home School Agreement